I’ve been privileged to meet so many moms of LGBTQ kids. Some in person, many on social media. Either way, I feel I know them and we share so much in common. One of the most important things we share is the heart of a mom.

The heart of a momWhat is in the heart of a mom of an LGBTQ child? First and foremost, it overflows with love for her child, whether gay, straight, bi, trans or cisgender. All her children are special in her heart. Having and LGBTQ child has opened her heart to more love than she ever thought she had and it continues to grow. It contains pride and awe at the courage and determination of her LGBTQ child.

Her heart is fierce. She will do anything to protect her child. Don’t cross her when it comes to her LGBTQ child. She may live to regret it. Her heart also has compassion and plenty of it. So, she will do her best to understand those who don’t and provide information and education to anyone open to it.

Her heart contains faith in so many ways. For some, it is a faith in God. For some, it’s faith in the underlying goodness of mankind. For some, it’s the faith of their childhood religion. For others it’s a new religion that is affirming and accepting.

Sometimes her heart carries sadness. The sadness of the many young people who have attempted and too many that have succeeded in committing suicide. It’s the sadness for the child who is bullied for living as their authentic self. It’s the sadness for the child whose parents reject them because they are LGBTQ and sadness for the churches that reject them.

But above the sadness is hope. Hope is always there in her heart. She knows she needs hope to keep going. So even in moments of despair, moments of anger, moments of sadness, she knows how much progress we’ve made and connects to the hope that brings. Yes, we know we still have a long way to go until our children are provided full equality under the law and equality in the hearts and minds of people, but we will not stop loving, not stop fighting, not stop hoping until we get there.